Berkshire Immigrant Center holding free attorney workshops Feb. 17

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PITTSFIELD — "This is immigration triage."

That's how Brooke Mead, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, described the organization's upcoming free attorney workshops Saturday.

Four experienced immigration attorneys will meet with registered clients in 20-minute sessions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., answering questions about their situations and helping them determine applicable next steps.

"It's a case assessment, much like if you were to go to a medical professional with a problem," Mead said.

The immigrant center previously held attorney consults more frequently. The last one was held in 2013.

With national uncertainty surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and temporary protected status programs for immigrants without legal status, it seemed the right time to restart the event.

About 25 people had signed up for appointments as of Tuesday afternoon.

Mead cautioned that some immigration issues are beyond even specialized attorneys to fix — things like final orders of deportation that have no feasible exception.

But in most cases, attorneys can help guide clients to their next step, she said.

Spanish-speaking interpreters are available during all appointment times.

The center also plans to hold a workshop this spring about the current state of immigration affairs.

"I just want Berkshires' immigrants and friends and loved ones to know that we're here as a resource for everybody," Mead said.


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